Climate

Hurricane Season 2010
November 30, 2010 01:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There were no reported hurricane disasters like Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005. So it is somewhat surprising to hear that according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,) the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, was one of the busiest on record. In contrast, the eastern North Pacific season had the fewest storms on record since the satellite era began. In the Atlantic Basin a total of 19 named storms formed – tied with 1887 and 1995 for third highest on record. Of those, 12 became hurricanes – tied with 1969 for second highest on record. Five of those reached major hurricane status of Category 3 or higher.

Four degree rise 'would scupper African farming'
November 30, 2010 08:52 AM - Yojana Sharma, SciDevNet

A widespread farming catastrophe could hit Africa if global temperatures rose by four degrees Celsius or more, according to a study that calls for urgent planning for a much warmer future and investment in technology to avert disaster.

Cancun climate talks update: US on track to meet emission reduction goals
November 30, 2010 07:09 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters, CANCUN, Mexico

he United States will keep a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions made last year perhaps with help from a domestic boom in cleaner-burning natural gas, Washington's lead negotiator said at the U.N. climate talks. At last year's climate talks in Copenhagen, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged the United States would cut emissions in a range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. "We must stand behind the underpinnings of what our leaders agreed to last year," Jonathan Pershing, the head of the U.S. delegation, told reporters on the first day of the annual two-week talks, held in Mexico this year.

Peat. Climate and Fires
November 29, 2010 03:47 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Peat, or turf, is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world. Peat has a high carbon content and can burn under low moisture conditions. Once ignited by the presence of a heat source, it smolders. These smoldering fires can burn undetected for very long periods of time (months, years and even centuries) propagating in a creeping fashion through the underground peat layer. The rate of global warming could lead to a rapid release of carbon from these peat lands that would then further accelerate global warming. Two recent studies published by the Mathematics Research Institute at the University of Exeter highlight the risk that this 'compost bomb' instability could pose, and calculate the conditions under which it could occur.

Unprecedented tundra fire likely linked to climate change
November 29, 2010 08:49 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

A thousand square kilometers of the Alaskan tundra burned in September 2007, a single fire that doubled the area burned in the region since 1950. However, a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds that the fire was even more unprecedented than imagined: sediment cores found that it was the most destructive fire in the area for at least 5,000 years and maybe longer.

Worst case study: global temp up 7.2F degrees by 2060s
November 29, 2010 07:15 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters, CANCUN

World temperatures could soar by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the 2060s in the worst case of global climate change and require an annual investment of $270 billion just to contain rising sea levels, studies suggested on Sunday. Such a rapid rise, within the lifetimes of many young people today, is double the 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ceiling set by 140 governments at a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen last year and would disrupt food and water supplies in many parts of the globe.

Polar Bears get a Thanksgiving present this year
November 25, 2010 10:32 AM - Brendan Cummings, Center for Biological Diversity

More than 187,000 square miles (approximately 120 million acres) along the north coast of Alaska were designated today as "critical habitat" for the polar bear as a result of a partial settlement in an ongoing lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Greenpeace against the Department of the Interior. This designation under the Endangered Species Act is intended to safeguard those coastal lands and waters under U.S. jurisdiction that are vital to the polar bears’ survival and recovery. The habitat rule comes at a critical juncture for the polar bear. The Interior Department is under court order to reconsider by Dec. 23 elements of its 2008 decision to list the polar bear as "threatened," rather than the more protective "endangered" — a decision that could affect whether the Endangered Species Act can be used as a tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the primary threat to the species. At the same time, the Interior Department is also considering whether to allow oil companies to drill for oil in the polar bear's newly designated critical habitat in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska.

Global CO2 Emissions Increased in 2010
November 22, 2010 09:17 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

During the heart of the recession in 2009, CO2 emissions fell as economic activity slowed. Now that the world is seeing modest signs at recovery, the pace of economic activity has picked up and so have the CO2 emissions. According to a new study from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, the planet may reach record levels of emissions by the end of the year.

Greening the Blue Helmets: the UN Goes Green
November 22, 2010 08:25 AM - Ann-Danylkiw, Triple Pundit

The United Nations might be the body long responsible for hosting the forum for international agreement on climate change, so it’s about time it gets its own climate house in order.

Global Coral Bleaching Among Worst Ever Seen
November 19, 2010 07:41 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real

Coral reefs are both vital and vulnerable to change, and the combination of rising ocean surface temperatures and increased acidification is devastating corals across the globe in one of the worst bleaching and die-off events ever recorded.

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